Met drops inquiry into past business dealings of Tory chairman Grant Shapps

  • @NigelpMorris

Police have dropped an investigation into the past business dealings of the Tory chairman Grant Shapps, but received legal advice that software-selling by a firm he founded could have constituted an offence of fraud.

The probe centred on How To Corp, an internet marketing firm he set up eight years ago with his wife, Belinda.

The Labour MP Steve McCabe asked the Metropolitan Police last year to examine claims it sold software that inflated a website’s advertising revenue by copying other sites’ content. 

The force wrote to Mr McCabe: “Legal advice was sought that concluded that the selling of the software may constitute an offence of fraud, among others”, adding: “However... the Metropolitan Police Service have decided not to instigate a criminal investigation and have now closed this matter.”

Mr Shapps stood down as a director of How To Corp in 2008, but his wife was still running the company from the family home 12 months ago.

He told Channel 4 News: “The letter makes it perfectly clear there is absolutely nothing here.”